Friday, January 6, 2012

Dream Job

Back in October, I believe, I got a job at a local pottery studio in my town.  For those who don't know much about me, I live in a very small town in Iowa.  A pottery studio is very unique for us.  Another thing about me is I'm an art junky, but that's for a later post.  Needless to say, this is my dream job as a college student.  I get to make pottery, pour molds, pick out bisque pieces, use the slab roller, paint samples, and basically design whatever I want.  Not to mention I get to use power tools on almost a daily basis.  Pretty awesome.  Another thing that I love about my job is the creative outlet it gives me.  Not only am I painting and coming up with pieces to show off to customers, I am keeping my creative juices flowing, which allows me to think of more things for my other art and crafts that I do.  
The studio is a small business, run by one woman.  She is one of the greatest people I have come to know, and great people like her are hard to come by these days.  I'm also lucky enough to have her as my boss.  It's just the two of us there at the moment, and I enjoy every minute of it.  There are some days when I'm off on my own holding down the fort, but I am so grateful to her for giving me the opportunity to work there.
We are working on a lot of projects right now, and one of the big things we are starting is glass fusion.  I get to cut class and help create sample pieces for that as well.  I used to look at things in stores that were fused, and I always wondered how they did it, but now I can say I know the process. We also do silver clay jewelry.  Once the silver clay fires in the kiln, it is 99.9% pure silver, which is amazing, not to mention the process that is mind-blowing! 

 This is a sample piece that I "had" to paint for customers to get a good idea of what it would look like.  I actually rolled the flat ornaments out with the slab roller, and then I cut them out.  I decided to do this candy cane two-sided so when it spins while hanging up, it's all decorated.

 This is my friend Lindsey, who came in to paint a picture frame for her mom for Christmas.  It turned out really nicely, and we got to visit while I painted samples. 

 Sometimes I feel like Angry Birds are taking over the world...So what did my boss and I do? We made clay angry birds.  These are made by hand, and we had a kids' class for them.

 This is my reindeer sample that I painted.  I absolutely love him.  I also painted a penguin, but I'm not sure where the picture is.  My boss told me that once a sample is painted, someone will paint that piece the same way for themselves.  I didn't realize she meant the exact same way, but lo and behold, several kids painted a reindeer just like him.

 When pieces aren't fired, the paint is very dull.  This is the finished product of one of the first pictures.  I was very pleased with it :) Love the shine.

 My mom came into visit me one day at work, and as usual, she had her camera at the ready.  I was wedging clay to get ready to roll out.  Let me tell you, that gives you a good upper body workout!

 The biggest sample that I've gotten to paint...I was so excited when my boss told me I would be painting this big sushi platter, somehow incorporating her new square stencil.  This is my workspace. 

 Set my timer, because everyone should have a picture of themselves doing what they love.

 Not sure why these are sideways still...Can't get them rotated for some darn reason.

 The finished front before it was fired.

 I decided the back needed a little something to make it cute.  Polka dots did the trick!

 Finished! Some of the dots aren't dark enough, and I believe it needs to be re-fired because of some issues with the paint balling up. Darnit!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Creativity is Flowing.

For years, I've been wanting an earring hanger where I can display all of my earrings without having to take up too much space.  Every single earring thing I've found has either been huge, waaay too expensive, or ridiculously tacky or gaudy.  I decided to make my own.  I think I did pretty darn well! The first one is the one that is hanging on my bathroom wall, and the rest are made for customers who requested their own custom made ones. They are all pretty similar, as the customers didn't want anything different besides the color. :) Pretty soon I am going to start making all sorts of unique ones, and when that time comes, I will do another post! I'm hoping to make a website with my sister and mother for us to sell some of our creations and artwork on, so these will eventually be on the market! If interested, leave a comment! Hope you enjoy them!